The International Journal of Restorative Justice

Article

Adult reparation panels and offender-centric meso-communities: an answer to the conundrum

Keywords Adult reparation panels, meso-community of care, concern and accountability, reintegration, restoration, surrogate familial bonds
Authors Darren J. McStravick
Author's information

321429 Darren J. McStravick
Darren J. McStravick is a lecturer in Law, School of Law, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, UK. Contact author: D.mcstravick@kingston.ac.uk.
  • Abstract

      The community paradigm is continually cited as an important influence within restorative practices. However, this influence has not been sufficiently clarified. This article seeks to answer this conundrum by identifying a novel meso-community of care, concern and accountability that has been emerging as part of adult reparation panel procedures. This offender-centric community consists of traditionally secondary justice stakeholders led by criminal justice representative professionals including police officers and probation officials. It also includes lay volunteers and reparation programme officials dependent on state funding and cooperation. Professionalised panellists have led the development of surrogate familial bonds with offenders through the incorporation of a welfare ethos as part of case discourses. This care and concern approach has increased opportunities within case agreements for successful reintegration and rehabilitation. However, this article also acknowledges some concerns within panel processes in that, by attempting to increase accountability for harms caused, there is a danger that panellists are blurring the restorative lines between rehabilitation and genuine restoration and reparation.

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